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Elysée ordered €9.4m of polls

Sarkozy should add bill to his election expenses says Green councillor who uncovered spending

DURING his five years as president, Nicolas Sarkozy and the Elysée ordered €9.4 million of opinion polls and studies to be done - more than one a week on average.

The figures were given by Grenoble deputy mayor Raymond Avrillier, who said the costs were entirely political and should be included in the costs of Sarkozy's election campaign.

He highlighted one poll, taken in February 2011 after a televised appearance by then-presidential favourite Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which asked if viewers had found him "convincing" plus "very Left-wing, Left-wing or Centre-Left".

Avrillier, a Green councillor, said that the Elysée had ordered 300 polls and studies. There were 66 between the start of 2010 and the first round of the presidential election in April, costing €3.04 million, on top of 264 polls ordered between 2007 and 2009 costing €6.35m.

He said he was not complaining about the fact the Elysée ordered opinion polls but said their scale and topics made them a problem and, he thought, an offence punishable under the electoral code if they were not included in Sarkozy's election costs.

He uncovered the spending after gaining access to some of the details because of a Paris court decision in February and the rest after a decision by the Commission d'Accès aux Documents Administratifs.

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